HobbyBoss' AAVP7A1 builds into a highly detailed armored fighting vehicle - but it takes some doing.
The molding is intricately featured in the hull and interior, but the drive train and bow lack detail. Flash is minimal, and mold seams are easily overcome with a single swipe of a sharp blade.
The interior is covered with ejector-pin marks - but most of those are hard to see through the open hatches or are covered up by other parts. Sand the back side of the interior walls so none of the mold imperfections prevents a good join. Overall, the fit of the parts is excellent.
The instructions flow logically, but there are several errors. In Step 2, parts D1 and D2, as well as D6 and D5, should be reversed. Subassembly A-A and B-B also should be switched. Test-fitting these parts will show which side of the hull they belong. (Careful: Snapping parts D5 and D6 into place, I broke the tabs that allow them to rotate. I ended up gluing them down.) In Step 4, Part N17 is mislabeled as N23. In Step 13, the exhaust is shown pointed forward (it's drawn correctly elsewhere in the instructions). There are two parts D33 - hatch bumper stops - but the directions show only one. The second should be placed behind the commander's hatch near the outside edge of the hull. Since there is no location marked on the hull for this part, I filed the bottom down, leaving a very thin edge to glue to the hull.
Most of the parts are for the interior. The driver's compartment is cramped, so I left it out for easier interior painting. I also saved the jerry-can rack, radio rack (Part L4), and fire-extinguisher post for later, which also makes it easier to apply the numerous interior decals. Seat parts C41 should be left off until the rear hull (Part E8) is glued to allow easy access to filling the joint between E8 and the interior walls.
Photoetched-metal parts PE7 and PE8 are a little small to fit in Part D8, but I was unable to find a good picture of this area to see if this was correct. Filler was needed in the joints of the rear ramp, as well as in the center top hatch. The hull's top has three antenna mounts, but only two are included.
Leave grab handles and storage racks off until the hull is joined. (I broke these parts many times trying to join the hull halves.)
The instruction sheet shows a vehicle with a different muffler; parts of this muffler are included in the kit, but they are not shown in the instructions as an option.
The tracks snap together long enough to place and glue them. I added the rubber track pads after assembly and painting.
There is a lack of color instructions for the interior or any of the detail parts of the interior and exterior - but good reference pictures abound on the Internet. I painted the interior Polly Scale interior green lightened with white. Tamiya clear blue spray covered the clear parts.
A color sheet shows the three-tone camouflage scheme and indicates three different paint brands. However, these instructions are incomplete. I painted with Tamiya NATO colors and used Silly Putty to mask the patterns. The decals went on just fine.
It took me 34 hours to build the AAVP7A1, with most of the time spent building the interior and cleaning up and assembling the track.
The vehicle matched scale drawings I found at www.the-blueprints.com (you'll have to register to see them). Now all I need to finish off this model is a ton of personal equipment - packs, tents, tarps, and any of the slew of other items you usually see stowed on these vehicles.
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